The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation is taking responsible gambling to the next level.
Coined My PlayBreak, the Crown corporation’s newest endeavour is a customizable self-exclusion program helping players take needed pauses from gambling.
Problem gamblers playing at an Ontario casino, Charitable Gaming Centres or on OLG.ca are encouraged to try out the service.
Its main features include flexible terms, ongoing support and self-directed goals.
However, in a statement, OLG’s senior vice president Alexandra Aguzzi, said ultimately that the program is part of a bigger picture.
“OLG prioritizes player health and is focused on continuous improvement of its RG programming.
My PlayBreak is just one of the RG tools in OLG’s sophisticated and unmatched PlaySmart portfolio that is integrated across multiple product lines to help customers create and maintain healthy habits that enable a lifetime of sustainable play.”
PlayBreak makes it easier for Ontario gamblers to step away
In its simplest form, PlayBreak aims to streamline the process of taking breaks from Ontario casinos, CGC and OLG.ca.
The government agency focused on a highly customizable product rather than a uniform approach to achieve that objective. For instance, players now have a multitude of options when it comes to self-exclusion term lengths.
PlayBreak’s self-exclusion options at Ontario casinos and CGC
At casinos and CGCs, those choices include:
- Three, six months
- One, two, three, four, five years
PlayBreak’s Self-Exclusion options at OLG.ca
The self-exclusion lengths at OLG.ca slightly differ:
- One day
- One week
- One, two, three, six months
- One, two, three, four, five years
Regardless of the time frame, the idea is that it can be easier to try something out on a shorter-term basis before taking the long-term plunge.
PlayBreak denies players access to any OLG-affiliated location for the duration of the chosen term.
Pause includes break from OLG gambling promotions, too
Alongside its revamped term lengths, the program removes players from OLG marketing lists until users manually opt back in. With shorter breaks – one day to three months – all communications and lottery subscriptions are paused.
However, longer breaks (i.e., six months and above) cancel communications and subscriptions altogether. The player must opt in afterwards to get back on the list.
This step seems particularly proactive, considering Canada’s gambling landscape nowadays. Consumers regularly encounter advertisements promoting legal and illegal operators in Ontario’s open market.
Recently, five provinces even formed a coalition to address the latter.
Responsible Gambling Council offering players ongoing support
My PlayBreak’s third distinguishable feature is its ongoing support.
For this component, OLG partnered with the Responsible Gambling Council — a leader in preventing problem gambling in Canada and the world, for over 35 years.
On-site PlaySmart Centres — staffed with RGC personnel — will be located at 29 Ontario casinos. They will also support 37 charitable gaming centres.
Players registered for My PlayBreak at either location can opt-in to receive follow-up calls from RGC members.
Another option is to call the OLG Support Centre at 1-800-387-0098. And players who’ve registered via OLG.ca can find help at 1-855-978-7529.
RGC’s CEO, Shelley White, hopes her organization’s presence will make for more timely referrals to support services.
“RGC commends OLG on its launch of My PlayBreak as part of its globally recognized gambling program – PlaySmart. This new program offers a more person-centred approach that is not only more accessible but will also support positive outcomes for those participating.”
How to register for My PlayBreak
The My PlayBreak registration process is a simple three-steps:
- Make a registration request
- Select a term duration of self-exclusion
- Review and agree to the terms and conditions
For OLG.ca registration, patrons can head to the website or call OLG player support. At a casino, staff members can help, or punters could speak with a service coordinator at a PlaySmart Centre. CGC also has personnel on-site.
The OLG Support Centre line also offers assistance to players in need.
When to consider My PlayBreak
While each case will differ, OLG did offer some guidelines for when players are encouraged to consider My PlayBreak.
Those suggestions included:
- Gambling has stopped being enjoyable
- Your finances, health or relationships suffer
- You feel like self-control would help your lifestyle
- You’re ready for a change
Returning to play after taking a My PlayBreak
Ultimately, a self-exclusion program is useless without a sustainable model to keep punters on the straight and narrow.
To that end, OLG’s PlaySmart responsible gambling program also features a “Return to Play” section to aid players in such a process.
My PlayBreaks is one way to help. However, three other tools are also available.
The first is My Play Customizer – a tool that helps punters better budget their time and money. On the other hand, my Play Profile asks nine questions to help players better understand their playing habits.
Meanwhile, My Play History analyzes play behaviour to see what may negatively impact your fun.
Additional problem gambling support and resources
Responsible Gambling Council
Phone: +1 (416) 499-9800
Credit Canada Debt Solutions